Friday, February 24, 2012

Silent in the Grave

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn isn't a book I would normally pick up. I was influenced by the ladies at Vaginal Fantasy who picked it as their February read.

I've mentioned before that I am not a "romance" fan. Lucky for me romance is only a small element of Raybourn's book. There's a fairly good mystery to be had so I'll give the book a thumbs up. Way up. I'm now on the third book in the series.  Just what I didn't need - another series to keep up with.

I'm also not a fan Victorian novels. For some reason I find the Victorian period annoying. Raybourn gets points for creating an interesting story that could, with a few minor alterations, take place today. The book is filled with colorful characters who don't always do what's expected of them.

The story starts with Lady Julia and Sir Edward Grey throwing a party. Suddenly Edward falls to the ground in some kind of a fit. When he dies a few hours later no one is surprised. The men of Edward's family are cursed with bad hearts.  No one wonders about the sudden death until a private inquiry agent named Nicholas Brisbane shows up and tells Julia that Edward had been threatened and was in fear for his life.

Lady Julia ends up working with Brisbane to find the truth about her husband's death. Along the way there are many twists and turns and odd characters with secrets. While I did guess who the murderer was I was surprised by the reason. There was no groundwork for the final revelations. It was as if Raybourn was looking for the most shocking solution.

My one character quibble with this book is that Brisbane is too much. He could come with the subtitle of Sherlock Holmes' broodier cousin. He's tall, dark and mysterious with a less than stellar pedigree. He's even got a drug habit like Holmes. I guess that Cumberbatch guy could play him in the movie.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Submissions: Omnific Publishing

Attention All Writers:

Omnific Publishing is now accepting Romance submissions including contemporary, historical, paranormal, suspense, and erotic romance, but will also consider fantasy/urban fantasy, science fiction, and chick lit with strong romantic elements.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Curved Space Trailer

Book description from Amazon:
CURVED SPACE - THE ADVENTURES OF STELLA STAR heralds the return of famed cult space heroine, Stella Star, with nine all-new adventures from an international field of the brightest new writing talent in the universe today! With amazing cover and interior art by acclaimed fantasy artist Robin Grenville-Evans and forewords from both STARCRASH writer/director Luigi Cozzi and Caroline ("Stella Star") Munro, CURVED SPACE - THE ADVENTURES OF STELLA STAR is the cult sci-fi literary event of this, or any other, millennium! Featuring Stories By: Luigi Cozzi (Italy - Writer/director - STARCRASH, CONTAMINATION and HERCULES) Tom Berdinski (USA - Writer/director - ITALIAN ZOMBIE MOVIE, Parts 1 and 2) Scott Brents (USA - Author/artist - 365 SCARY STORIES, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DEMONS AND DEMONOLOGY and PHANTASM: FURTHER EXCURSIONS INTO OBLIVION) Richard Dean (USA - Author - COLONY, INHABITED, FINAL DEATH and LEECH) Robin Grenville-Evans (UK - Artist, cartoonist - "Young Doctors in Space" for Starburst magazine and "Lavinia Laserblast" for the Evening Times) Mark Gascoigne (UK - STARCRASH archivist, webmaster of "The Haunted Stars") Glen Alan Hamilton (USA - Author - Featured in PEEP SHOW, TRIP THE LIGHT HORRIFIC, CHIMERAWORLD, SBD, NEVERWORLDS and BRUTARIAN) Forewords By: Luigi Cozzi Caroline Munro (UK - Actor - STARCRASH, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD and CAPTAIN KRONOS: VAMPIRE HUNTER) Edited By: Richard Dean

Buy Curved Space - The Adventures of Stella Star

Bonus: The original trailer from Starcrash.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy

Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy edited by Ellen Datlow is a wonderful collection of fantasy stories that take place in different cities. There's something for everyone here. Like vampires? Gotcha covered. Like Fae Folk? Check. Are you a bit of a ghoul? There's a story for you too.

All the usual suspects are here. Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Pat Cadigan, and even Elizabeth Bear. I'll admit I picked up the book because the cover told me there was a Harry Dresden story inside. This time Butcher has our lovable wizard looking into a curse on the Chicago Cubs.

I'll also have to admit there is one story I didn't read because it dealt with a certain phobia of mine. I also wish I hadn't read the ghoul story. It made me sick and put me off meat for a couple of days.  Exactly what you'd expect from a ghoul story. In my defense, you don't know it's a ghoul story until you're in way too deep to back out.

I'm beginning to think I like urban fantasy better than straight fantasy. If you like your fantasy a little on the noir side, you'll enjoy this book.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters Trailer

Book description from Amazon:
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest—and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!
Buy Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Monday, February 13, 2012

Plot Hinge

The next chapter goes live Feb. 16, 2012 at

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fantasy Author: Patricia C. Wrede

Patricia's book Caught in Crystal is coming out in ebook form soon. Check out her website.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hell and Earth: A Novel of the Promethean Age By Elizabeth Bear is an alternate history story involving William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. It is the fourth book in the Promethean Age series. It is also the second half of a story that started in Ink and Steel. If you haven't read the first half you're going to be a bit confused. 

I don't really like alternate history novels or historical fiction, for that matter. Unless they take place in ancient Egypt. I can't seem to get enough of those. I've read a few books that have Shakespeare as a main character but they really don't seem to be able to do him justice. This book is no exception. 

Bear's Shakespeare is a man caught between two lovers: his wife, Anne and Kit Marlowe. One would think that in a world where words are magic, Shakespeare would be a major player but that doesn't seem to be the case. I felt more sorry for him as I read. I guess I just expected him to be more.

I know very little of Kit Marlowe so I can't comment on how he was characterized. His inner angst did get a little annoying after a while. If Shakespeare has two lovers, Marlowe has three. Besides the Bard, Kit is pursued by the Devil himself and an Fae prince. Busy boy that one.

The story is interesting. Two courts, Fae and mortal are connected. When Elizabeth dies everything changes. Marlowe and Shakespeare must stop the Prometheans from taking over England. Guy Fawkes is a minor character and his actions part of the plot they must stop.

There are a lot of things going on in this book. If you like things a little convoluted - sometimes you need a scorecard to keep people straight - then you'll like this story. I found the pain and suffering to be a bit drawn out but it was still a good read. Good enough that I'll probably look for the other novels in this series.
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